Wednesday morning I got up at 4:45am. I showered. I put on my makeup, including lipstick. I took out my earrings and my belly button piercing. I put on jog pants, a sweatshirt, and tennis shoes. I made one final once over in the mirror to insure I had no metal on, then I drove to the hospital in the rain.
Once at the hospital I was signed in, strapped to an MRI table, blindfolded, (starting to sound kinky?), and slid into a tube. I spent the next 90 minutes listening to the soothing sounds of the MRI machine, which can only be compared to having a jackhammer by your head, with an occasional soft voice saying "ok, how you doing? This next picture will take about two minutes.".
After the MRI's of my spine, I moved out into the hallway where I sat for the next 60 minutes savoring the nourishment of barium contrast ...the breakfast of champions! When my 60 minutes were up I was ushered into another room where I got one last shot glass full of contrast and was slid back into modern technology...."take a deep breath, now hold it, 16, 15, 14....3, 2, 1, and breath". We did this about 8 times, and they sent me on my way.
I was right on schedule to be about 20 minutes late for the annual Breast Cancer Survivors luncheon (which I am thinking has got to be a lot more lively than the Breast Cancer Non-Survivors luncheon!). I was not too shaken when about 3/4th of the way there my gas light came on, but when I hit that parked car in the parking garage, I was starting to get a little pissed at how this day was going, and it wasn't even noon yet. So, I tore off a piece of an envelope lying on the floor and scrawled down my name, number, and plates and "I hit your car." I put it under their windsheild wiper and ran in to my second hospital of the day, because I am a survivor, damn it!
At the survivors luncheon I sat with 2 friends and 5 strangers and listened to a woman talk about her breast cancer experience. It is so weird to hear someone talk about their breast cancer experience, because some parts, like how horrible it is to have to tell your parents that you have cancer, are so much the same, and other parts are so very different. Like the fact that I never lost my hair or a breast. These were fears of mine in the beginning, but never happened to me as it has for most other women with breast cancer. It is strange to be in a room full of people who you should feel a strong connection to and still feel so very alone. But, I guess everyone's experience is different, as different as our personalities.
Finally, after the luncheon, it was time to wait for the phone to ring. My friends and I headed back to watch TV and....wait.
It was the PA that called. I could tell by the sound of her voice that she was smiling. She actually laughed a little as she spoke. She said that all my scans showed that my cancer was stable, and some areas even showed improvement!
WHAT A RELIEF!
I thanked God.
I went out to eat.
I threw up.
I hugged my kids.
I kissed my husband.
I went to bed.
What am I thankful for?! I am thankful that there was no little old man waiting outside the hospital to beat me with his cane for hitting his car in the parking garage. I am thankful that I didn't run out of gas. I am thankful for the woman that was brave enough to share her breast cancer story. I am thankful for my friends and family, and I am thankful for the two most precious little boys in the world. They are my heart and my strength!